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Cleaner day

March 14, 2010

So, I basically forgot about that whole “time change spring ahead” thing this morning and was going about my business trying to figure out how my cell phone and my kitchen clock had different times on them.  I’m a genius sometimes.  Thank goodness I figured it out long before I had to be at my internship, but now I’m just discombobulated in general.  I couldn’t figure out why it was a full hour later thn I normally eat and I was only just getting hungry!  A-duh, because it was physically the same time as usual. Anyway, like I said, I wanted to focus on cleaner eating today after yesterday’s Peanut Butter Debacle (I finished one jar and started another).  Don’t get me wrong, I love me some peanut butter, it just doesn’t need to me my main food group every day (peanut butter and chocolate…fine!) So this morning, I started with the most high maintenance green monster I’ve ever made.  I don’t  know what I did this time, if I tried to put too much into the Magic Bullet at once or something, but it took forever to blend up and I kept having to go in with a spoon to mix up the goods to get it to blend.  But once it did blend, I was more than happy.

BREAKFAST OF CHAMPIONS

I don’t drink beer, but I drink my smoothies out of a beer stein from Berlin!  In place of beer, we’ve got: 1 ginormous banana, 1 cup frozen spinach, 1/4 cup frozen blueberries (the rest of the bag), 3/4 cup almond milk, 1tbsp ground flax seed, more cinnamon than I think I’ve ever used in one sitting in my life, and some water to blend.  This was BANGIN – I could practically feel the cinnamon coming out my nose.  I loved it.  Plus two cups of coffee out the French press. Speaking of coffee, I’ve put myself on a sort of coffee restriction.  It’s so easy for me to just make cup after cup after cup and not even think about it, but I get super jittery, irritated, and dehydrated.  Now, I allow myself two cups in the morning and after that I switch to green or herbal tea.  If I’m feeling really run down by the time I go to Pilates at night, I’ll drink another cup before, but usually I don’t have to lately.  I feel that I have become addicted to coffee – yesterday when I didn’t drink it, I had a headache ALL day and generally felt just awful.  I’m not thrilled that I drank myself into an addiction (lol) and I’m considering weaning myself off but I do really love the whole ritual of the French press.  Wow.  I sound like a smoker. But I don’t smoke. Lunchtime came too soon, because breakfast was a little late, but it was perfection. Salad+grapefruit+green tea.  Superenergized after. I know most of my salads have been pretty much identical over the past week,  but baby steps here people!  I’m just learning to like salad and I really like this one!  Maybe this week I’ll switch it up.  Buy spinach instead.  In the salad mix: Romaine, organic sprouts, carrots, cuke, avocado, sugar snap peas.  Dressing: Salsa, tehina, lime juice.  On the side, one monster grapefruit. It was such a pretty color, I’d intended to take a closeup for you, but apparently I forgot to do that and ate it first.  After I snapped this picture, I went at the rest of the pulp with my grapefruit spoon until I was satisfied I got as much of it as I could.  I love grapefruit.  Because, you know, I don’t say that in every single post already. I try to eat before I go to my internship because I have a tendency to eat CRAP when I’m there.  Usually I forget to eat when I have to go in the morning, and end up eating brownies or things I really don’t want for breakfast.  We always put out snacks like chips and cookies for the kids we work with, even though I always beg for fruit and veggies.  Today I got lucky, they put out hummus and babaghanoush and Stacy’s Pita Chips (aka crack in a bag) and carrots.  I was pretty busy so I didn’t have much time to eat but I did manage to scarf down a handful of chips and carrots and hummus (sadly Sabra babaghanoush is not vegan). That’s a shot of my kids learnin’, that’s all.  It makes me happy. Dinnerrrrrrrr… I was debating with myself all day whether or not I needed to go grocery shopping.  When I caught sight of these babies hanging out on the counter, I decided I didn’t have to. So, since I am a single girl living alone in New York City I often like to use my magical convection oven to roast small batches of things like two yams. That’s just a microwave, you’ll say. Nope, I’ll say. So anyway I stuck my yams in the convection oven on 425 F.  Midway through, my biffle showed up so I cooked dinner for two instead of one. Snacks while cooking – I was freaking hungry: Cukes and carrots, hummus and salsa.  Real attractive photography here. Gala. While the yams were roastin and we were snackin I did some stuff on the stove.  I put some beet greens to steam:

But my makeshift steamer basket had a secret surprise underneath:

Quinoa!!

Basically, I started cooking the quinoa and then about halfway through cooking I tossed the colander with beet greens on top, covered and let steam for about six or so minutes.  Then I took it off, let the quinoa cool for about five minutes, fluffed, mixed the quinoa with the beet greens, and served topped with sliced beets and pesto sauce.

Closeup on mine:

And some yam porn:

Fresh out the oven.  Smellin like brown sugar. Bubblin hot. Ah-ma-zing.

Starch gold.

Mashed up with liberal amounts of cinnamon.

And dessert:

Vegan chocolate melted with peanut butter, and apples.

x4 (on the chocolate+pb mixture)

and probably some cereal for late night snackage while watching TV and chillin.  Probably.

Off to bed now…see you in the morning ❤

Rainy day lazy

March 14, 2010

Confession: Thursday night I thought I had big plans for the weekend.  When I woke up on Friday morning to a disgusting rainy weekend forecast, I immediately began to rethink things!

On Friday I woke up at the buttcrack of dawn to be in Manhattan for a full-day filming.  I got hired to narrate a promotional video for a graduate degree program in Visual Rehabilitation Therapy/Occupation and Mobility training – basically, a master’s training program for those who work with the blind.

It was a really interesting experience for me.  I was the only hired “talent” on set – all the others being filmed were legit professionals in the field, either graduates from the program or otherwise involved in the curriculum and training.  Most of the day was honestly spent sitting in a conference room, me reviewing my script and the rest just talking.  And it was really cool – it must have been a cool experience for them too – because as they all sat around the table catching up, they all were discussing clients, telling both success and horror stories, bouncing ideas off of each other for how to treat new clients (one man is currently working with a student who is both blind and autistic), and just essentially supporting each other.   I highly doubt my future is in VRT, but it was inspiring for me to see that people who have been working in the field longer than I have been alive are still passionate about their career and their life choices.  I have no idea what I want to do with my life right now (well, I have a vague idea) and one of my biggest fears is choosing a life where I will be miserable and will eventually come to regret what I have chosen for myself.  Apparently it is possible to choose a life that, twenty and thirty years down the line, you are still passionate about.  Thank goodness.

I packed a Victoria’s Secret-bagged lunch for myself, just in case the lunch they provided was chock full of dairy or meat.

In the lunch: Sliced cucumber, sliced carrots, 1/4 avocado, 1 Dr Kracker Spelt seeded flatbread, 1 clementine, 1 apple, 1 grapefruit, Pecan Pie Larabar.  I ate everything except the grapefruit and a few carrot sticks, but the person facilitating the shoot also ordered salads and sandwiches from a nearby place, and the salad was dressing free, FULL OF BEETS and dark leafy greens, and the little bit of dairy in it was easily removed, so I chowed down on that too.  I didn’t take a picture but I was very excited about the beets.

Saturday was a day of rest and relaxation.  I was going to go out Saturday night but it was pouring rain and my idea of a good time last night did not include pounding music in a Guido-packed club (I try to keep my life as Jersey Shore-free as possible).  Mostly I ate a lot of cereal and peanut butter and chocolate (and at one point combined the three in an epic and unphotographed bowl of chocolate peanut butter oatmeal), but I also had this amazing dinner of leftovers:

Leftover spaghetti squash, leftover roasted asparagus, leftover steamed beets, with “vodka sauce.”

I added a lot more sauce after this picture was taken.  I get really excited when my plate is colorful like this.  I also ate the whole grapefruit, because it was so damn good.

Instead of being angry at myself for yesterday’s chocolate-and-fat-fest, I decided (as I was digging into a jar of peanut butter with a spoon) that I’ll use Sunday as a clean-eating day to kick off the week and to detox a bit from OD’ing on the chocolate and PB.  Really, I should have never put peanut butter and chocolate together in the microwave.  It’s so good it’s dangerous.  But…well…it’s awesome.  Really and truly AWESOME.

So on today’s monster cleaner-eating plan:

  • Breakfast-Green monster!! Banana, frozen blueberries, frozen spinach, almond milk, ground flax seed, water to blend
  • Snacks- fruit+pb, or a Larabar (or both..)
  • Lunch- salad MONSTER – romaine, sprouts, carrots, avocado, salsa+tehina+lime dressing (I know it seems like I eat this a lot but it’s really good and I make salads out of what I have on hand, which happens to be all these things)
  • another snack at some point, probably whichever I didn’t eat from the morning
  • dinner- dependent on whether or not I go grocery shopping today, but there are definitely beets and beet greens and peas in the offing.  I’m really craving green things right now.

On a personal note (like this whole blog isn’t just one long personal note?), I’ve really been making an effort to eat at least three whole meals a day for the past two weeks, despite personal fears and hangups over gaining weight.  What I discovered has been shocking to me.  I don’t weigh myself, never have, doubt I ever will routinely, but my body feels different.  Over the past two weeks, I have been building muscle like I never have before.  At all times, my body feels hard, toned all over, instead of soft and slightly flabby like it has been for quite a while (re: since I quit singing).  I really can only attribute this to my consciously clean and full diet.  I really hope I can keep this up, because I honestly feel so much better than I have in a very long time and I really like it.

So…I’m off to make that green smoothie, catch up on blogs, and then take care of some householdy stuff.  I decided to skip Pilates this morning, and I’m glad I did because as soon as I made the decision to play hooky, thunder started rolling (effectively making all three of my cats panic) and upon gazing out my window, I spied torrents of rain.  No thank you.

So, some questions for ya’ll:

What time do you normally wake up? On Friday when I rolled out of bed at 6:30am, groaning and complaining to my cats (yes, I am that girl), I felt like I was awake at some sacred and forbidden hour when no one else in the world can possibly be awake.  Of course, once I got out into the world and on public transit, I realized just how many other people were actually up right then.  I guess five years of refusing to take a class before eleven AM will do that to you…

What is your FAVORITE FRUIT?? This is honestly a really tough question for me, because I’ve never met a fruit I didn’t like!  I can’t even decide upon an answer.

and finally

Did you watch Lady Gaga’s new video yet????? (Haha JK…actually not JK at all). If you haven’t, CLICK HERE and be ready for an eyegasm of epic proportions!  And OMG they just announced that Lady Gaga will be doing an episode of Glee in the future.  Really, they’re just trying to kill me with happiness this week.

Ummm……..yeah.  I’m crazy.  I’ll stop now.  Off to your blog!

What does $11 look like?

March 11, 2010

BEFORE YOU PROCEED YOU MUST WATCH THIS VIDEO!!! RIGHT NOWWWWW!!!!!!!

Gaga’s new video “Telephone” – it rivals “Thriller,” I promise.  It’s worth the nine minutes.  This is entirely the highlight of my day (potentially of my week).

Ok you’ve watched it?  Okay good, moving on to my post…

Ah, another sunny and gorgeous day in New York!  I was compelled to put on a skirt because of how nice the weather was.

This morning I woke up, and even though oatmeal was on my plan, I really just wasn’t in the mood for it.  So instead I made a green(ish) smoothie:

Blended together: 1 banana, frozen blueberries, frozen spinach, ground flax seed, almond milk, cinnamon, water to blend.

And of course, coffee.  Next time I make a green smoothie, I’ll make it bigger or bulk it up with a bit more protein and fiber because I was snackish all day, unlike yesterday when I ate oats for breakfast.

In the afternoon, I went grocery shopping with Stephen and dropped eleven bucks on all this beautiful produce:

Well, the jar of Newman’s salsa you see peering out I bought at another store, and cost $5, which is absurd in light of how much I spent at the grocery store to get all those fruits and veg’s!  Next time, I’m totally going to make my own instead.  Take that, processed foods!

In the above picture, you see:

  • 3 grapefruits (3/$1)
  • 2 lemons, 2 limes (4/$1)
  • 2 cucumbers (2/$1)
  • 3 yams (59 cents/lb, cost me $1.04)
  • bag of carrots (2/$1, I bought one, meaning it cost fifty cents)
  • bananas
  • gala apples
  • Newman’s Medium Salsa

I’m a happy girl 🙂

At home, I mixed up a gargantuan salad for two:

In the salad bowl mix: Romaine, organic sprouts, avocado, carrots, and cucumber.  The dressing is half tehina, half salsa, and the juice of half a lime.

For two, with a side of perfectly juice organic D’Anjou pears.

This is my favorite homemade dressing currently.  Could eat it every day.  Might.

Pears are at least as magical as grapefruit.  Most fruit is magical to me.  I don’t know if I’ve ever met a fruit I didn’t like (yes I even liked durian).

Dessert was this Jocolat espresso bar, shared:

I picked these up a few days ago because I’ve never tried them before but I’m a fan of Larabars.  I also bought the Mint one.  I wasn’t a huge fan of the mint – the problem with using extracts as flavoring in raw/uncooked desserts is that the taste of the alcohol can come through and I didn’t really love that.  I liked this one MUCH BETTER – the mix of nuts, chocolate, and coffee is pretty much amazing.  Of course, I can make this on my own at home, so next time, I’ll do that.

Stephen and I are working on a project together and it’s fun being creative with my best friend.  Step one is called Teach Me How To Dance.  It’s comedic, to say the least.

Snacked on fruit with PB, like this (and other stuff I forgot to take pictures of):

I also grabbed a grande soy latte before Pilates.  I don’t consume a lot of soy, but every now and then a grande soy latte is a good pre-Pilates treat and snack.  I resolve it for myself by saying that the protein/fat/carb content are a great pre-work out fuel up, and the caffeine gives me the perfect little kick.  This is a big change for myself from just a few months ago when I was consuming 2-3 of these per day and trying to convince myself they constituted adequate meals.

After Pilates I made a quick stop at the health food store – I was really craving a frozen treat.  And then I quickly spent eleven dollars on this:

Wow, the difference between this eleven dollars and my earlier eleven dollars is astounding.  I think I’m going to try to stick to as many whole, unpackaged foods as I can from now on because my budget just can’t take it.  But I needed peanut butter and these waffles looked so cute, I couldn’t pass them up.  Plus, they’re vegan.  Convenience food?  Sure.  (Rationalizing it for myself….BAD!)

I really like planning out my meals now.  It gives me something to look forward to.  And today when I got out of Pilates, I was looking forward to this:

On the blurry and colorful dinner plate: Spaghetti squash a la faux vodka – I mixed marinara with tehina and homemade pesto sauce for an Italian-ish flavor profile; steamed beets atop steamed beet greens (wow these are awesome); asparagus, and carrots.  I added a big blob of hummus after I took the picture, for dippage.  And I went back for several more helpings of asparagus and carrots.

Dessert:

I don’t LOVE So Delicious coconut products because they feel a little overprocessed to me, but I do REALLY REALLY like them.  And I really really like the chocolate+coconut flavor of these little bars.  It kinda irks me that it says “70 CALORIES” on the box like it’s a diet food and one of the product’s merits, but I guess in our calorie-fearing society, this is an effective marketing ploy.

Thanks for the advice about my ankle earlier!  I’m still bruised and swollen but I’m taking it easy.  Really I just want to be able to wear high heels by this weekend but I don’t think that’s happening.

I’m off to pack up a lunch for tomorrow, read blogs, and then go to bed.  I have a really early day (for me).  It’s also a big and kind of exciting day!  I’m filming a promotional video for an educational program all day, and I’m really looking forward to it.  No, I’m not an actress or a model of any kind, although I have taken acting classes for fun my whole life and have been in plays before, and did some amateur modeling as a child.  Honestly I kind of fell into this gig by accident but it pays and it sounds interesting so I’ll take it!

I might be disappearing from my blog for a few days, since I have a full day tomorrow, then it’s Shabbat, then I have plans on Saturday night, and then work on Sunday, but I’ll try to stop by and catch up with you all at some point!  But if I don’t get to post or read your blogs or talk to you until next week, HAVE AN AMAZING WEEKEND!!

Imperfection!

March 11, 2010

Well, ladies and gents, it finally happened!  After six months of studying Pilates I have officially sustained my first Pilates-induced injury.

How, you might ask?  Did I pinch a nerve trying to do an unsupported shoulder stand?  Was I hyperextending my elbow too much during planks and it gave out?

Oh no.  The answer is much more…me.

I tripped over the reformer.

Yep.

For those of you unfamiliar with Pilates, the reformer is a quintessential piece of Pilates equipment.  You can read more about it here.  It kind of looks like an S&M torture device but is really really useful for creating resistance in your body throughout your routine.  I’ve only taken a handful of reformer classes but I quite enjoy it.  Just…don’t trip over it.  My ankle bruised nearly immediately, and has been gradually swelling all night.  I can walk on it, so I’m not really concerned, but it’s really annoying anyway.  At least I can still do Pilates.

Yesterday’s big breakfast to prevent later bingeing experiment was quite successful.  I ate three meals plus one snack and chocolate after dinner, with no cravings in between.  It was shockingly awesome.

Lunch yesterday was also shockingly awesome.  So far, I’m meeting my weekly goal of eating a salad every day.  Yesterday’s salad was a bed of romaine and organic sprouts, with avocado and carrots, and a veritable swimming pool of home-made dressing.

As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve never really been a salad person.  I guess I just didn’t get them – all the leaves.  Hah.  Well, making my own dressing for my daily salad has done wonders to change that perspective.  Yeah, fine, all my dressings this week are essentially me mixing tehina with whatever I have in the fridge, but, IT’S AWESOME.

Yesterday, I mixed 3 tablespoons of my homemade pesto with 3 tablespoons of tehina (just the sesame paste), a tablespoon of water, the juice of half of one lime, and fresh ground black pepper.  Yes, tehina goes with everything.  And this dressing was AMAZING!  If I weren’t trying to make a different one every single day, I might make this for today’s lunch.  Maybe I’ll have it for dinner…

On the side was my favorite.

Really. Grapefruit are PINK. (Well, some are) How can anyone not like grapefruit?  I always used to bring a whole grapefruit to school with my lunch, and for some reason, people would always ask me if I was on a diet because I was eating a grapefruit.  That’s when I would pull out my giant bag of chocolate chip cookies.  Grapefruit is not diet food, people! Grapefruit is just awesome.

I also went for another bike ride yesterday.  I’m obsessed with the fact that there is an entire website dedicated to the bike paths and lanes in New York City.  I use it to plan out my path before I get on the bike – one of the two cross streets by my house has a bike lane leading to a path through a park, and it’s a pretty good five mile circuit.  Not that I’m going to lie and let you think I actually DO five miles.  Please, I can’t make it up hill.  I have to get off and walk my bike.  That’s my current goal – being able to ride up hill!  Good luck to me.  But I’m not going to give it up! I’m loving just being outdoors on the bike, in the sunshine, feeling the wind rush by. Potentially a new favorite thing of mine.  But as a New York City non-driver, riding a bike through the streets of New York is really treacherous and freaky!  That’s why I love the bike trails, they are off road, usually parallel to main roads, and wind through trees and parks – it’s almost like  being in the wilderness but I can still hear honking cars and sirens so I still feel comfortably at home in the city.

I got back from my bike ride to find that I am 110% more productive than my cats.

Sorry, did I interrupt your nap at 2 pm?

Well, I’m off!  I have a script to learn by tomorrow that I’ve barely looked at, and I’m considering getting a start on that whole “spring cleaning” dealio.  We’ll see.  First I’m going to read everybody’s blogs though!

Questions for ya’ll:

Do you ride a bike? Are you an outdoor biker or are you  more of an indoor, spin-class type?  Or do you not ride a bike at all, traumatized by memories of your awful experiences trying to learn as a child (JK – but if you are, please do NOT spare any details!!!)

How do you deal with a minor injury? I hurt myself in an area that really does not affect any of my activity other than being supremely ANNOYING, and I would love to hear your tips and tricks for ignoring the pain and moving past it!

Okay, blog-reading time.

Breakfast

March 10, 2010

This morning my French press produced the perfect cup of coffee.

I think this is it’s way of apologizing for the Great French Press Explosion of yesterday.

Since I binged on half a box of cereal after lunch yesterday, I thought I’d start today off with a bigger breakfast than just a piece of fruit.

In the blurry-picture mix: Bob’s Red Mill organic steel cut oats, 1/2 banana, peanut butter, half a pear, cinnamon, and grade B maple.

I ate the rest of the pear too.

It’s such a gorgeous day today.  I’m thinking a bike ride is ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY!  My thighs already feel the difference from one extremely abbreviated bike ride.  Power power power!

Does anyone out there still watch House?  I just caught the most recent episode and the ill person of the week was a blogger! The script focused heavily on analysis of her blogging habit, the idea of connecting with people beyond face-to-face interaction, the difference between maintaining privacy and maintaining honesty, and her conflict with her boyfriend over blogging what he considered to be private and she considered to be public!  It was interesting, to say the least.  I’ve actually been watching House backwards – I started last season, now I’ve watched all of this season as well, and am only now going back to older episodes.  Love this show.  Also, LOST was amazing last night.  AMAZING!!

BTW – want to keep yourself healthier than I was this weekend?  Maybe you need to win this Celestial Seasoning’s tea package from Averie!  There are SO MANY ways to enter!

I smell spring

March 9, 2010

Sup peeps.  Was today SPRING by you?  Because it was SIXTY DEGREES here!  Amazing!  I really really really hope spring is here to last.   It SMELLS like spring, there are crocuses around, and gosh darn it, the sky is just so damn blue.  Please oh pretty please, Spring, won’t you stay?

I went outside to play with my kitty and attempted a photoshoot, but she hasn’t quite learned how to pose yet.

Neither have I.

But clearly, sixty degree weather calls for something special.  Hmm…what is that something special?  Oh yeah!  Time to break out the orange Tory Burch flats 🙂

Yeahhh baby look at them thick thighs.

So after lunch today I kind of ate half of a box of Puffins, which means I’m never buying them again (lies).  Met up with Stephen for some frolicking and some planning, ate some fruit and some chocolate, then jetted off to Pilates.  There’s a new chick who showed up at my studio last night and she’s REALLY GOOD and now it makes me want to be even better.  Who knew I was competitive?  I know it’s not about winning but I’m the class model the teachers use and I want to keep it that way!  😛  That said, I’m concentrating really hard so class left me sweaty and awesome.

After class I picked up a Refresh tea from Starbucks:

and also a bag of dried mango by Peeled:

Not bad.  I needed something to refuel with and to hold me over while I went to my friend’s house to watch Lost before I came home for dinner.

Dinner was SPESHUL PLANZ.  I acquired some basil over the weekend and kept forgetting to use it, but slightly wilted unattractive basil makes for some g-reeeat pesto.  I shot a Tweet over to Jess today wondering if she knew any good pesto recipes, was denied, so I turned to my culinary demi-god, Mark Bittman, for help.  Yes, I am the proud owner of How To Cook Everything, a birthday acquisition from my mother.   I am also the proud owner of How To Cook Everything Vegetarian, a Chanukkah gift from my father.

I absolutely adore both of these books.  Not only are they great for quick inspiration, but they’re chock-full of information, ideas, and creativity.  They’re not just cookbooks, they’re pleasure reading articles for me.  Love. Love. Love.  Get it, now.

So of course, I was thrilled to see How To Cook Everything Vegetarian had an entire SECTION on pestos.

And I was even MORE thrilled when I saw that Bittman’s recipe for classic pesto described the parmasean component as “optional,” and Bittman further elaborates that he “often omit[s] it because basil, simply pureed with oil and nuts, is already so good.”  Hell yeah.

So I based my recipe off of his with the addition of lemon juice, to mimic the sharpness of the cheese.  My pesto is as follows:

  • 1 bunch, roughly 2 cups, fresh basil
  • 2-3 tbsp pine nuts
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 clove garlic
  • juice of 1/2 lemon, freshly squeezed
  • 1/2 cup olive oil

So the basil didn’t look gorgeous, but it smelled absolutely divine.  To-die-for.

I always have pine-nuts on hand because I keep them in a zip-lock baggie in the freezer.  I just pull em out and use them for whatever I like.

It’s one of the few organized things I’ve ever done in my life.

In my food processor, I pulsed together the basil, the pine nuts, the garlic, the salt, the lemon juice, and about half the oil.  I had to scrape down the edges a few times.  I pulsed until everything was kind of chunky and broken up.

Then I turned the processor on and slowly drizzled in a stream of olive oil, a few more tablespoons, until the mixture became smooth.  Then I put it all in a jar and tossed it in the fridge.  It definitely tastes better given some time to allow the flavors to meld together.

For dinner, I made a big plate of spaghetti squash and topped it half with my “vodka sauce” of marinara+tehina, and half with my pesto, and a side of awesome steamed asparagus.

On a serious spaghetti squash kick lately.  This tasted AMAZING.  I went back for seconds and am considering thirds.

Today was a fab day, and I am about ready for bed.  My Google reader currently has 261 unread posts… Fingers crossed it doesn’t reach 300 by tomorrow morning.  I’m slowly getting through my back reading!  I have a script I need to learn by Friday but I’d rather read blogs.  No big deal.

Sweet dreams, blog lovelies.

Learning curve

March 9, 2010

Lesson learned this morning: Cinnamon and my French press do not mix.  I tried adding cinnamon into my coffee grounds to spice up my morning cup of coffee, but the cinnamon got all gunked up in the press and caused a massive explosion.  But I didn’t learn the first time…or the second time.  No, I tried the experiment three times, just to be sure.  And the three loads of laundry I’ve already run this morning to avoid staining every shirt I own are my punishment from not learning from my mistakes.  So, now, I’ve learned.

Well, moving forward from the Great French Press Explosion 2010… Here’s some stuff I picked up at the health food store last night.

Puffins Original (cute company!), Jocolat bars, Larabars, mini Maya Gold chocolate bars, Almond Breeze (since they were out of Pacific brand),  Ezekiel Cinnamon Rasin cereal (never tried before…looks interesting), Imagine Organic Creamy Tomato soup (favorite!), and MoistStic lip balm.

Missing from the picture: One Jocolat bar (mint) and one mini Maya Gold bar.  Seriously, have not seen a large Maya gold bar in months, but I spied these last night and grabbed them up.  Um, let’s see how long they last in my house.  I picked up the Puffins because I’ve seen them on other blogs and because I really liked their message, but I’ve eaten more than half the box soooooo … yeah, this is why I don’t buy cereal (what a lie, I always buy cereal and then eat the whole box in under two days and reprimand myself and remind myself not to buy cereal next time…and I always buy it again.  It’s a vicious cycle).

So, the lip balm.  I really really liked the label:

And I like it fine, I guess.  Honestly, I love the idea of lip balm but I always forget I don’t actually like it!  I fully believe that if you use lip balm/chap stic/whatever when your lips aren’t chapped, you cause your lips to be chapped, because the balm replaces the natural moisture in your lips with whatever moisture is in the product.  I’ll probably give this to my boyfriend, who is a lip balm addict.

Recently, I’ve been tracking what I eat.  A few months ago I started doing it using SparkPeople.com‘s food tracker, but I got really bogged down with the calorie and nutrient breakdown and within a few weeks I gave up using it because it was only making me crazy.  If you’re not dealing with calorie issues like I was then, I would recommend the site though!

See, my problem with writing down everything I eat is that I judge myself when I see what I’ve eaten that day!  I’m unhappy with the fact that there have been days in my past where all I’ve eaten is chocolate, and I couldn’t stand actually committing that to paper, because it seemed like an admission of my faults.

But then sometime recently, I decided to just do it.  To just write down everything I eat, objectively, and not sweat it.  I figured I’d do this for a few weeks and then after a while look through my notes and see what my patterns are and make conscious changes.

I carry around this little Moleskine notebook and pen with me everywhere:

What I’ve noticed is, since writing everything down keeps me accountable, it makes me WANT to eat healthier so that when I look back in the book, I’m happy with what I see rather than upset with myself.

Here is a sample view of one day (yesterday):

The night before, I like to plan out what I’m going to eat the next day on the left side, in pencil.  I also like to write out a few “to do” items for the day that I’m worried I’ll forget to do (like pay bills!), and possibly some shopping items.  During the day, I check off my to-do items and add more, as well as list whatever I’ve purchased that day (see my groceries above?).  On the right side, I simply write down everything I ate.  Sometimes I write down the time with it, sometimes I forget to.  Sometimes I also write little notes to myself, like hearts next to things I ate or smiley faces when I ate too much chocolate, to remind myself it’s not a big deal.

I haven’t gotten to the point of examination and conscious change yet, but I’m pretty happy with where this is going for now!  I’m using the book as a method of setting a weekly goal for myself as well.  A few weeks ago it was “eat breakfast every day,” which has become a part of my routine now, and this week it is “eat salads every day.”  I intend to set a weekly yoga goal for myself also- learn and master one pose per week.  This week it is half moon.

I know I could use the blog for such things but as of yet I’m not 100% comfortable posting every single thing I eat on the blog.  Maybe one week, that will be a goal.  Like…next month though.  Haha.

Anywho, in keeping with this week’s goal, lunch today was a salad.  The components were very similar to last night’s dinner:

Since the salsa jar was almost empty, I mixed up a dressing with equal parts salsa and tehina, and the juice of half of one lime.  It was AWESOME.  Must get more salsa now.

Alrighty, I’m off to read more blogs then work on a project I’m pretty excited about…deets to come!

Some questions for ya’ll:

Do you track your food with a journal? If so, why did you start? Has it affected how you eat?  If not, is there a reason?

and

What’s your go-to salad combo?

Thanks!  I’ll be back later, I think!